Published on: 08-12-2014

Advertisements in a responsive online magazine

I visit publishers quite regularly, and a question that is almost always asked is the following: ‘How do advertisements in online magazines work?’ In this blog, I will explain the subject of Responsive Advertising.

What is the difference between advertisements for print and online advertisements?

Advertisements in paper magazines are based on reach. Reach is calculated as the circulation multiplied by the number of times a magazine is ‘passed on to a neighbor’. There is some guesstimating involved, and hard data is almost never collected. And this is precisely the power of online advertising! You can determine with an accuracy of three decimal places who has seen your ad, how long they looked at it and what the effect of the ad was. In fact, you can see how the viewer ended up looking at your ad and what links he subsequently clicked on. You will also be able to see if your ad has been viewed on a PC, tablet or cell phone. In addition to measurability, a digital advertisement can contain lots of multimedia content (e.g. videos or music) or personalized information.

Interested in responsive advertisements?

The ‘mobile-first approach’ is becoming more and more crucial. A standard print ad is usually made to the A4 standard size. This will not work on a smartphone or tablet. The fit isn’t perfect and the ad is moreover static. All you can do is look at it. When online, readers want to do something! Click on a button, for example, or look at a video, preferably without having to pinch it three times or clicking on the wrong link twice. This is why making an advertisement responsive is a good idea – so it adapts itself to the device on which it is viewed.

Would you like to see some examples of responsive ads?

• WestCord Hotels in Vrij by Rederij Doeksen

• Cardo Packtalk in Motodrive

• Spring Sneakers Inspiration by shoe store Shuz

• TravelBird in the e-zine by InShared

• Holiday cottages in the Texelaar

What are the possibilities?

Your creativity (and our templates ☺) are the only restrictions. In addition to a text and image ad you could consider a video, an advertorial, branded content, a live product feed from your web shop, a game, a feedback form etc. There are many different options, and more will become available in the coming months. So keep your eyes open, take a look around and try and find some interesting examples. What works for you? Give it a personal touch that fits in with your organization.

What do I tell my advertiser?

It is not difficult to make a responsive ad, but it’s not easy either. All the elements of the advertisement must be supplied separately, so you, the publisher, can use an advertisement template for formatting. Advise your advertiser to think about richer content and a clear call-to-action. Ensure that the image can be made to fit both landscape and portrait screens. Above all: keep the lines of communication with your advertiser open, keep testing, measuring, directing and improving.

How do I know what works and what doesn’t?

Because there is still so much to discover, it is important to run tests. It is wise to create several versions of your ads. Carry out tests to see which one responds the best and work out the details for that advertisement. Using a UTM-code and Google Analytics, it is easy to find out which advertisement brings the visitor to your landing page. Would you like to find out more or check out the possibilities some time? Please do not hesitate to call or email: +31 (0)20 303 2822, daan@instantmagazine.com.

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